Ranunculus, also called buttercup or bachelor's buttons, is a beautiful flowering plant that exhibits hues of white, red, orange and yellow. You can grow these most easily from tuberous clusters, which are available for purchase at some garden centers or online. You can treat these as an annual or a perennial--each fall you can dig them up for winter storage and use them again the following year, if you choose.
Choose a planting area that has good drainage and receives full sun for most of the day. Inadequate sunlight results in fewer ranunculus blooms. Plant ranunculus in the early spring or the fall, when the ground is workable (not frozen). When you buy these, each individual clump contains several pointy fingers/claws connected at the top. Plant each clump with these pointy ends down. Easytogrowbulbs.com suggests planting these 2 inches deep and spaced about 4 to 6 inches apart.
Water thoroughly after planting, and keep soil moist thereafter all through the active growing season. It is OK to let the soil dry out a bit between watering, but don't let it get bone dry (unless plants have already gone dormant). On the other hand, don't let the plant sit in water or the tubers will develop disease or rot.
Fertilize ranunculus with a bulb fertilizer. Aorangi.co.nz recommends fertilizing every month. You can use liquid, powder, granular fertilizer or plant stakes (which normally last longer than a month)--just follow directions on the label regarding how much to use.
Cut mature blooms whenever you wish to. Use sharp shears or a sharp knife and cut the stem (leave a few inches) at a slight angle, as you would any other flower. The plant should continue producing more flowers.
Dig the tubers up in late fall and store them in a cool and very dry area (most basements are too humid) over the winter. Gardeningdirect.co.uk suggests storing tubers in a pot of dry, soil-based compost (potting soil will also do). You can plant these the following spring.